Darling supports broadband by raiding Granny's digital fund
Stop us if you've heard this one
Budget 09 Alistair Darling used today's Budget to back calls for Universal Service obligations to include access to a decent broadband network regardless of where in the UK your home or business is.
The Budget pledged support for universal access to a 2 Megabit broadband network.
This will be paid for by the underspending on the Digital Switchover Help Scheme - the money set aside for buying grannies DAB radios and Freeview boxes.
The government will ask the BBC Trust how to get hold of this money and use it to improve internet access. Details will be announced with the full response to the Digital Britain report expected in June or July, Ofcom's powers are likely to be reviewed at the same time.
The Budget book said: "Universal Service will be complemented with further support to improve basic digital skills and promote broadband take-up, in order to ensure that adoption of broadband continues to grow in line with the expanding opportunities available."
The Budget also approved £100m in spending for a pilot next generation network in South Yorkshire
Telcos and other tech companies will also benefit from the doubling in the capital expenditure allowance, a £2.5bn budget set aside for investment in high-skilled jobs of the future, and the £750m strategic investment fund, though a third of the latter is set aside for low-cardon industries. Quite how much of this funding is actually new will no doubt become clear over the coming days.
Contractors group PCG said the Budget offered little for its members.
PCG’s managing director John Brazier. “The UK’s freelancers will be asking where are the helpful measures such as the repeal of IR35 and other distorting tax laws like s44-7; they will be sorely disappointed again by the lack of answers.”
The UK's technology industry will feel an impact from the Budget but we reckon changes in government technology procurement and faster moves to shared services announced yesterday will make just as big a difference.
Yes that's right, it's perfectly possible for a farmer to commute to his (or her) farm from the nearest city.
We're not talking about people who have chosen to move to locations, they are already there, as are their jobs, families and communities. It would be perfectly possibly for BT to turn around and say that they can't be bothered with supplying anything to these communities becuase it's not financially viable. While we're at it, why should they have buses, trains, electricity, water, sewage services all of which aren't financially viable outside major population centres. Broadband or realisticly fast access to the internet is becoming more and more essential to daily life as more and more services are becoming internet based. Dialup doesn't really cut it these days as lots of web sites are being made lazily and shifting large ammounts of data about.
A right to broadband? wtf...
People choose where they live. No one in the UK is stuck in a particular area.
If you want to move, you make sacrifices.
You rent, you move away from your friends, you adjust to a new pace and style of life.
Poor access to services is an implict part of the deal when living in the countryside. It simply doesnt make economic sense to provide them.
If someone in a rural area wants access to high speed broadband, they should be willing to pay a price reflecting the cost of that provision, and should decide if its worth it. Nothing stops a local interest group all pitching in for a microwave link, instead of lobbying central government for more subsudies for thier unsustainable lifestyle.
Grow some balls and move, accept the realities of your environment, or do something to change them. The countryside is a money sink anyway.
Are you under the impression that BT and offcom are the same? And that BT are state owned? Neither is true.
BT is a private company, the former incumbent nationalised provider, but sold to the public by the Milk Snatcher and bought up by people who didn't realise that it belonged to them all along...
Offcom is a regulator. Regulators are essential in privatised service industries to stop companies taking the piss out of their customers (to prevent too high prices for comodities that can't be purchsed elsewhere etc.)
Also, where you live, in San Fran is a highly populated area, no? What happens when you go out to mom and pop's farm in the sticks? Can you still get all of the broadband options there? No, you can't.